Is Nashville walkable
Nashville Attractions - The Perfect Day in "The Music City" * Press trip
Nashville is also called "The Music City" known. Why? I immediately realize that as I drive downtown. I lower the windows of my rental car and while I slowly roll through the slow traffic, the music changes constantly. Sometimes she comes from a bar, sometimes unplugged by a street musician, sometimes it's a jubilant hen party singing along loudly on a beer bike the 90s playlist.
However, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Nashville has so many more facets of music to offer. Here are my tips for your perfect day in The Music City with the most beautiful Nashville sights.
Nashville Attractions - Nashville Downtown Hostel
My accommodation for the stay in Nashville is this Nashville Downtown Hostel, which is located behind the thick walls of one of the many old brick houses along the banks of the Cumberland Rivers hidden. In the former warehouse there are now clubs, restaurants and the Nashville Downtown Hostel.
The owner of the hostel, Ron Limb, has traveled a lot, stayed in hundreds of accommodations over the years and gained a lot of experience and ideas. For his own hostel, he has everything that makes good accommodation for him, here in the Nashville Downtown Hostel realized. The hostel fulfills the “good location” factor with flying colors, as it is in the middle of downtown and just one block from Lower Broadway, Nashville's entertainment mile with numerous bars and honkytonk music clubs.
On two floors (two more are currently being remodeled) are 4-, 6- and 8-bed rooms, which are named after bands and singers from the history of music. The washrooms are in the corridor. Not that tingling, I think at first, but in addition to the well-known communal showers, there are also lockable private bathrooms. The bathrooms are equipped with a shower and toilet and are really very clean and modern. The rooms are furnished only very spartan with double bunk beds and luggage racks, but that's not bad at all. There is so much to discover in Nashville that you won't be spending much time in your room anyway.
The spacious lobby in the basement is very comfortably furnished. In the fully equipped kitchen you can have your "complementary coffee" after getting up and start the day. If you visit Nashville alone, you will definitely find a connection here. According to the intention of the operator: Come as guests, leave as friends. One of the mixed crowd - you have to live at least 60 miles from Nashville to get a room here - is always sitting on one of the comfortable sofas, scratching a guitar, playing pool or doing laundry. Everything happens here in one place. Computers are also available for booking one or the other ticket for the evening. The super nice staff is available 24 hours a day to help you with any problems. Then it can finally start. The hostel is the perfect starting point for an eventful day in "The Music City".
Nashville Downtown Hostel | 177 1st Ave N, Nashville,
Prices in the dorms range from $ 35 to $ 50 for one, depending on the day of the week Private room prices start at $ 112 per room. The hostel also offers lofts for up to 6 people. Here you can have a look at the different accommodations. Parking in the nearby public parking garage costs $ 10 per night.
Nashville Attractions: Breakfast in Nashville
Just a few minutes' walk from the hostel, you can have the most important meal of the day. A great breakfast is offered in numerous cafés. I choose that this morning "Wild Eggs". As the name suggests, there are all kinds of egg dishes on the menu. I choose my all-time favorite Eggs Benedict. Of course, the pancakes with maple syrup, orange juice and refill coffee should not be missing from a real American breakfast.
The Wild eggs is huge, yet some guests have to wait up to 20 minutes to get a seat. However, since the restaurant does not lack staff, you are served quickly and in a super friendly manner.
Wild Eggs | Where? 333 Union St, Nashville
Nashville Attractions - Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Strengthened properly, it goes to the first of many musical program items that Nashville has to offer: the Country Music Hall of Fame. On the day of my visit, the "CMHOF" celebrates its 50th birthday. To celebrate the day, entry costs just $ 1.50 instead of the usual $ 24.95. The line in front of the colossus of a building is correspondingly long. It was not until 2001 that the Hall of Fame and the museum with all its exhibits and memorabilia moved to the city center. Only at second glance does it become apparent that the facade of the huge new building is based on the look of piano keys.
Hall of Fame and Museum honor the history of country music. In one of the many exhibition rooms you will find yourself in a labyrinth of huge displays that tell the life and work of great music legends. The permanent exhibition will also be here until the end of 2017 "Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City" to see. With its numerous archive photos, music and video clips, the exhibition honors a very special era in Nashville's musical history.
In the interactive area of the museum you can practice creating new songs with a few ready-made lines. The ultimate souvenir photo is shot in the belly of an oversized guitar. This not only fulfills its purpose as a photo backdrop, but also serves as illustrative material. Right next to it, a drawing explains the “anatomy of a guitar”, which can be seen directly on the giant guitar.
In addition to the museum, you can also marvel at the actual Hall of Fame, which is housed in a huge rotunda. The plaques of all honored members are lined up on the wall. If you dare - or if you are lucky enough to be all alone in the rotunda - stand exactly in the middle of the rotunda and hum a note. You will be surprised by the acoustics.
Country Music Hall of Fame | Where? 222 5th Ave S, Nashville | When?daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Prices? $ 24.95
Nashville Attractions - Historic RCA Studio B Tour
Right in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame a shuttle bus runs (every hour between 10:30 and 14:30) to the famous Historic RCA Studio B. in Music Row, Nashville's area with the highest density of record labels, production companies and agencies. Even on the 10-minute drive, tour guide Ron reports on the creation of the famous recording studio and tells numerous anecdotes about the stars who once recorded their songs here. For example, the story of the young Dolly Parton, who parked her car against the wall on arrival for her first session and landed her first "hit" in the parking lot of the studio.
Arriving at the studio, Ron leads the group of tourists through the corridors, which are hung from top to bottom with photographs, records and other memorabilia from the old days. Ron's enthusiasm makes this tour a special experience. During the week he actually works something completely different and on the weekend he passionately brings people closer to the reason why Nashville is also called The Music City is known.
The Highlight of the tour comes to the end: the recording room. Music history was written here. Thousands of number 1 hits have been recorded here, including the majority of Elvis ‘music repertoire. The 106 square meter room has very special acoustics. A blue cross on the floor still marks the “sweet spot” of the room where the singers once stood and recorded their songs live with all the musicians.
We slowly have to hurry because the studio is still used as such today. There is only a short time window for the tours at lunchtime. The bus takes you back to Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHOF).
RCA Studio B Tour | Where? 222 5th Ave S, Nashville | When? Every hour between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. | Prices? The RCA Studio B Tour is included in the Platinum Ticket for the CMHOF for $ 35.95
Nashville Landmarks - Hatch Show Print
If you're looking for a nice souvenir or souvenir from Nashville, you've come to the right place. Right in the building of the CMHOF the historical poster printing house is located Hatch show print, founded in 1879. The posters and advertisements for many music events in the city have always been printed here. Even today. A large number of graphic design students from around the world apply annually for one of the few unpaid internships offered by Hatch Show Print. Here the interns learn the basics of printing with wooden letters. Away from the computer and back to the roots.
In tours through the workshop, visitors are introduced to the 130-year-old printing machines and printing techniques. A poster is included in the $ 18 entry fee. There are numerous other poster prints, framed or unframed, to buy in the shop next door. Postcards, mugs and T-shirts with the prints are also available.
Hatch Show Print Tour | Where? 222 5th Ave S, Nashville | When? Daily 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. | Prices?18 dollars
Nashville Landmarks - Johnny Cash Museum
Quickly rolled up the poster and stowed in my backpack, it's only a five-minute walk from the hotel Johnny Cash Museum. The museum on 3rd Avenue is quite small, but run with a lot of love. In the museum café right next to the obligatory gift shop, I fortify myself with a milk coffee and a cookie, then I go into - into the life of J.R. Cash.
J.R., that is actually the real first name of the "Man in Black", which he had to change to John when the Air Force entered the initials J.R. not accepted as a name. The museum starts with an impressive timeline with portraits, from the 1950s to the 2000s, and then comes up with the largest collection of memorabilia and exhibits from his eventful life.
The exhibits shimmy off Cash's childhood from his time in the Air Force to his early career years. Of course, the Carter Family also played a big role in Johnny's life and thus also in his museum. The Carter Family was one of the first commercially successful country stars in the 1930s. Little J.R. heard the songs of the family of musicians in his childhood, not knowing that he would someday marry Carter's daughter June.
"Let me tell you a story", an older, little man with a cowboy hat and cardigan suddenly speaks to me and I'm all ears, "I was there that night ...". As I stand in the Johnny Cash Museum, among all the stage outfits, records and framed documents that reflect the singer's life, I now get one of the most important episodes of his life told firsthand: the marriage proposal.
Anyone who has seen the biopic "Walk the Line" will remember exactly this scene in the film. Johnny Cash had proposed several times to June Carter, but she had always turned it down. One evening in February 1968 in Ontario, Canada, Johnny Cash proposed to her again - live on stage. In the audience between 7,000 other viewers, the then 31-year-old Jim Clark, who is now standing in front of me and telling me what happened after June finally said “yes”. There is a cut at this point in the film. "There was just cheering for minutes," said Jim Clark, now 80 years old and on the occasion of his birthday with his whole family on a trip to the USA, "then they just kept playing the song."
After this charming conversation, I observe something strange Highlight of the exhibition: A green screen on which you can have your picture taken with Johnny Cash. For a long time I watch as families with prams let themselves be draped around an imaginary Johnny Cash in order to then take the photo they took home as a souvenir. The exhibition closes with the video of Cash’s last single "Hurt" in a loop and his recordings perfectly summarize the life of Johnny Cash. With the melody in my ear, I make my way to my next item on the program - a late lunch in the district Hillsboro.
Johnny Cash Museum | Where? 119 3rd Ave S, Nashville | When? daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Prices? Admission: $ 16
Nashville Sightseeing - Lunch in hip Hillsboro Village
While downtown in the morning seems to give a very good impression of what Nashville is like, it shows in Hillsboro Village from a completely different side. There are numerous restaurants, bars and vintage shops here. Due to its proximity to the Vanderbilt University campus you see mainly students and less tourists here.
There are many choices for a late lunch here. The Pancake Pantry promises the best pancakes for several generations. in the Fido there is very good coffee, small snacks and lunch menus, and all of this is even vegetarian. I choose that Double dogs and enjoy a huge sandwich before strolling through the shops.
Double dogs and many more restaurants, cafes and shops | Where? 21st Avenue South, Nashville
Nashville Landmarks - The Parthenon
There's a piece of antiquity in The Music City in Centennial Park to marvel at. The true-to-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon Temple has stood here since 1897 and attracts tourists as a photo motif and of course with its Museum of Art History. In summer there are open-air theater performances with the Parthenon as an imposing backdrop.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can lie down on the lawn here in the park and relax. There is a very peaceful atmosphere here, especially in the late afternoon. Centennial Park is also very popular with the Nashvillians. Many joggers have chosen the route through the park and dog owners also choose this idyllic place for the walk. The Parthenon is around 15 minutes by car from downtown and around 10 minutes from Hillsboro.
On August 21, 2017, some parts of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. Nashville is also on the path of total blackout and is celebrating the natural spectacle with a relaxed city festival in Centennial Park. The festival starts at 11 a.m. At 1:27 p.m. it will be dark for a few minutes.
Parthenon Museum | Where? 2600 West End Avenue, Nashville | When? Tue - Sat 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sun 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Prices? 6 dollars (the park is free to enter)
Nashville attractions - John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
The best place to enjoy the sunset is on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, formerly Shelby Street Bridge, which spans the Cumberland River leads. Cars are forbidden here. From here you have a great view of the skyline, behind which the evening sun is slowly sinking. On this evening, some young couples who dressed up for their prom used the skyline in the beautiful sunset as a backdrop for their souvenir photos.
Nashville attractions - Hot chicken for dinner
A must do in Nashville Hot chicken. It is very popular Hattie B’s hot chicken in midtown. The meter-long line in front of the gray brick building speaks volumes at least. Another recommendation from a Nashvillian is this Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. It is around 15 minutes by car from downtown. That is a little closer Party fowlthat I ultimately choose. A pretty cool shop with brightly painted euro pallets, guitars and illuminated signs on the walls.
I order that Nashville Hot Chicken, which is offered in different degrees of spiciness: southern fried, mild, medium, hot and poltergeist. I choose mild and still crave my cola refill pretty soon. There are also chips and coleslaw. There are also some alternatives on the menu for vegetarians and vegans: chickpea hummus (chick pea hummus - even here the chicken somehow appear), rice balls with a white BBQ sauce, fried onion rings and a lot more.
Nashville Attractions - A Musical Evening
For the perfect end to your varied day in Nashville, I would like to introduce you to two particularly important musical institutions in Nashville. While the former can be described as musical fireworks, the other is a cozy campfire.Both of these full-length events are definitely worth a visit. Especially with fans of the series “Nashville” the names Grand Ole Opry and Bluebird Cafe already awaken scenes in the mind's eye.
Nashville Attractions: An Evening at the Grand Ole Opry
A little further out, about 25 minutes by car from downtown Nashville, is the Opryland complex. It consists of the Grand Ole Opry House, the Opry Mills Shopping Center, the Opryland Hotel with a fabulous 2800 rooms and the “General Jackson Showboat”, a paddle steamer where you can party and eat.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening the red curtain rises in the Grand Ole Opry for the approximately two and a half hour live show. A total of twelve acts from the country scene - the level of awareness varies - are on stage here. The program is very varied and ranges from the young, ambitious country girl to the actor and singer Charles Eston (from the series Nashville) to Jeannie Seely, who is celebrating her 50th stage anniversary in the Opry this year.
The Grand Ole Opry started as a live radio show in 1925 Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, which is still one of the city's most important event locations - not least because of its excellent acoustics. The importance of the radio show got bigger and bigger and so it was already in the 1940s the highest goal for a country singer to appear in the Grand Ole Opry. Because of the lack of space, the show moved to the specially created one in 1974 Oprylandaround. The winter season still takes place in the Ryman Auditorium today.
The new building has space for 4,400 spectators, most of whom are tourists. Nevertheless: The attraction and cult status of the show, which is still broadcast live today, is unbroken. As is the case with a radio show, advertisements are placed in between to thank the individual sponsors of the show. This part is taken over by a speaker who stands at a desk at the edge of the stage. With an incredibly deep, soft radio voice he routinely reads the advertising text (for 22 years now), while the stagehands on the stage behind him set up the instruments for the next artist.
The highlight for most of the young women in the hall that evening: Country singer and actor Charles Eston, currently successful with the NASHVILLE series
At this link you can stream the Opry broadcaster WSM, maybe you are lucky and the Opry Show is in full swing right now.
Grand Ole Opry Show | Where? 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville | When? Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 7:00 p.m. Price? between 40 and 70 dollars, depending on the seat category.
Nashville Attractions: Grand Ole Opry Backstage tour
To really, really understand why seasoned country singers almost burst into tears when invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry after the show you should do the Backstage tour participate. In a group of around 20 other interested parties, you can go behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry. The tour guide, in my case a very lively 21-year-old who has only lived in Nashville for six months and thus fulfilled her childhood dream, tells all kinds of anecdotes from over 90 years of Grand Ole Opry history. Among other things, it goes through the warehouses, where props and instruments are stored. You can also take a look at the 18 cloakrooms, all of which are furnished according to a different motto. The cloakroom doors are almost always open here. According to our tour guide, the Opry is so familiar behind the scenes that the artists prefer to hang out in the greenroom, chat and exchange ideas.
In the end, the tour also leads to the stage where the musicians were still standing until an hour ago. From here you can let your gaze wander over the 4,400 now empty seats and once on the "Circle" stand. The circle is almost sacred to the Opry. It's a piece from the middle of the old Opry stage at Ryman. Many musicians become very awesome when they are allowed to stand on the boards once in their lives, on which so many famous country musicians stood before them and made music history.
Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour | Where? 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville | When? Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat after the show and also during the day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Price? 22 dollars
Nashville Attractions: An Evening at theThe Bluebird Cafe
The Grand Ole Opry is a country spectacle on the big stage. If you are more in the mood for an evening in intimate company, a visit to the The Bluebird Cafe just the thing for you. Because here you experience the music up close and handmade. In advance you can try to secure your tickets online for the show, which takes place twice a day. The tickets for the only 90 seats are in great demand, however. The Bluebird is quite atypical, a little outside the center, between a cleaning and a barbershop.
When I arrive about half an hour before admission - without a ticket - queues have already formed at the entrance. One on the left (the ticket holders) and one on the right (who still want to try their luck). Little by little, the visitors are let in with tickets. From inside you can already hear a piano clinking and voices warming up. Some people on the right are already giving up and leaving the line. I stand firm, even though my hope is slowly fading. But the wait is worth it and I get the last free seat. The concert has already started, so I sneak in very quietly.
In this case, the term “concert” is grossly exaggerated and that's why it's so special. Four singer-songwriters sit across from each other on bar stools with a guitar in their arms and a microphone in front of their mouths. Each of them plays a few songs, tells the story of how it came about and also one or the other funny anecdote. It's a meeting of like-minded people who chat about music and make a little music. As a spectator, you sit around it with a glass of wine in your hand and listen to the anecdotes and melodies. Highlight performed her song “World is ours” as singer Sinclair and at the end everyone else jammed with guitar and keyboard for minutes.
Even if I didn't know any of the singers, it was a really great evening. Rather, the visit to The Bluebird Cafe has broadened my horizons for music. Great music doesn't need a big name. The Bluebird is a stepping stone for musicians and songwriters. This is where careers arise, because there is always one or the other talent scout in the audience - looking for the next star. That way and exactly this is where Taylor Swift was discovered, by the way.
Bluebird Cafe | Where?4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville | When? daily at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. | Prices? $ 12-15, with an additional $ 10 minimum
Nashville attractions - Lower Broadway
Lower Broadway is Nashville's party strip. I have never seen so many stag and hen parties. There is a lot going on here, especially on weekends, even during the day. Music is booming from everywhere, mostly live. Here people live and love music.
If you still have vigor after this exciting day (and I have to admit, I don't), you can really let the pig out here. My tip: Just let the music carry you away and move from bar to bar and through the honky tonks. It is particularly popular and therefore very well attended Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge with a roof terrace and thus a view over the entire Broadway. In Robert’s Western World you can not only buy beer, but also real Nasvhille boots. At the end of the day, you will definitely benefit from the proximity to the hostel on foot.
I've seen and experienced an incredible amount in Nashville, but The Music City has a lot more to offer. For even more action, head to Nashville during the CMA Music Festivals in June or during the Tennessee State Fair visit in September.
If you're in Nashville, I definitely recommend visiting Memphis, which is three hours away. You can find my tips for your Memphis stay here: Walking in Memphis - Your guide to the Memphis sights
Do you have any other tips for an eventful day in Nashville? Drop them in the comments below.
This post was created in cooperation with Tennessee Tourism
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More photos for that Nashville feeling and a few Special tips for Nashville attractions:
Nashville's streetscapes have some murals to offer. One of the most popular is that “I believe in Nashville” mural. It is represented several times in the city. Once here: 12th Avenue South next to Edley’s BBQ and Draper, where it only had to be renewed in March 2017 due to vandalism and here, where I visited it, at 1402 Clinton Street. If you think that you have lost your way terribly, then you are correct.
The Dragon Mural located in Hillsboro Village at 21st Avenue and Belcourt
Another Nashville attraction: The Street Art Factory "Legends Corner" right next to the Ryman Auditorium (see below).
One of sooo many street musicians in Nashville, all more or less hoping for their breakthrough. I later saw him sitting in the lobby of the Nashville Downtown Hostel with his guitar.
Broadway's honky tonks by day
The shuttle bus to RCA Studio B, one of the Nashville attractions
Gold and platinum records as far as the eye can see on the wall of the entrance hall of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville
View from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry into the now empty auditorium. Only an hour earlier there was wild applause.
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